Damage to the radial nerve in the arm during revision of total elbow arthroplasty is a serious complication; which is still not well documented. The aim of this study was to define a way on how to avoid this complication and to prevent it.
Patients and methods
Four patients underwent radial palsy after revision of total elbow arthroplasty. An anatomical study on 20 upper limbs was performed to define landmarks for the radial nerve in the arm and elbow.
Radial nerve damage occurred near the proximal tip of the stem in all four patients, due to cement seepage caused by cortical effraction in two patients, and to damage caused by the retractors in the two other patients. The anatomical study made it possible to specify landmarks for the radial nerve in relation to the humerus. A high-risk area located 14cm away from the tip of the olecranon fossa, and 15.5cm from the medial epicondyle, was identified.
A high-risk area for the radial nerve was defined and suggested targeted landmarks with a posterior proximal counter-incision situated at about 14cm above the olecranon fossa.
Level of evidence
IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Elbow, Arthroplasty, Revision, Radial nerve palsy, Prevention